Thoughts on NaNoWriMo

By Gloria G. Adams

Thought #1: Why is this thingy in November?

Possible answers:
1.    The month begins with an “N.”
2.    Writers have procrastinated all year and this is their last chance to actually “get something done.”
3.    Real answer: Because the weather is miserable in November. That’s according to one of the founders (Chris Baty.)

Thought #2: Why does this work?
1.    It just does
2.    Well, not always, not if you quit.
3.    Real answer: Because people tend to perform when they have to be accountable to someone else.

Thought #3: Can I do this if I am a children’s author?
1.    Yes
2.    Of course
3.    Real answer: Number 1, Number 2, and mine’s a middle grade novel, so 25,000-30,000 words, not as long as an adult or young adult or new adult novel (50,000 words+)

Thought #4: Why am I doing this?
1.    I want to finish my novel
2.    I want to finish my novel
3.    Real answer: I want to finish my novel

Thought #5: Why don’t I do this every month and not just in November?
1.    Because it sounds overwhelming
2.    Because I get lazy
3.    Real answer: both of the above.

This is the first year I am actually DOING NaNoWriMo. I made a spreadsheet on Google Docs and shared it with my writer friends and we plan to get together a few times and write. But it’s there for them to see and I am diligently filling it in. And it is working.

I participated in a “writer’s boot camp” once, same kind of concept. I only made it through half the month, then quit because it was a mystery and I needed to stop and actually outline first. I am not a “Pantser.” But I managed to write 16,000 words and I have the bones of a fairly decent adult novel. But mostly, I was so surprised that I was able to get that much done and I realized it was because I had to be accountable.

This process really can work. Will I have a highly-polished, ready-to-submit manuscript on November 30th? Heck, no. But I am hoping to have a pretty decent one that will not take forever to reach that polished state.

So, while this is not an “official NaNoWriMo,” it is my version and it is helping reach a goal. If I reach this one, I plan to do NaNoWriMo every month because that’s what the most successful writers do. If you read their tips, that one is always there: write every day. NaNo adds a specific word count per day to that, which makes it more challenging. But every challenge needs specifics.

Is it overwhelming? Yes! Will I get lazy? Probably. But if I make myself accountable, I know it’s possible.

So I need a name. “Not Just November Novel Writing Month? (NoJuNoNoWriMo?) or “Write Every Day of the Year? (WriEvDaOfTheYe?)

Hey, I’ve got it! NaNoWriMoEvMo (National Novel Writing Month Every Month.)

Who’s with me?